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Would it matter?
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Would it matter?  Reply with quote

This question is based on a true story, some details changed.

I am assuming you are an atheist, perhaps anti theist. Suppose some of your friends would share that to some extent.  Now suppose one of these friends died as a result of a rather unconventional lifestyle.  Perhaps they were smuggling class A drugs into the country and the condom burst in their stomach (it happens).

Now in the instance I know of the family were Christian and they had a full requiem mass.  How would you feel about that? I mean would you be indignant that the family had arranged something that did not reflect the person you knew and maybe ignored the person you knew?
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trentvoyager
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Would it matter? Reply with quote

Boss Cat wrote:
This question is based on a true story, some details changed.

I am assuming you are an atheist, perhaps anti theist. Suppose some of your friends would share that to some extent.  Now suppose one of these friends died as a result of a rather unconventional lifestyle.  Perhaps they were smuggling class A drugs into the country and the condom burst in their stomach (it happens).

Now in the instance I know of the family were Christian and they had a full requiem mass.  How would you feel about that? I mean would you be indignant that the family had arranged something that did not reflect the person you knew and maybe ignored the person you knew?



I would go along and celebrate my friends life as best I could - I think.

I recently had a similar situation where a friend of ours died - he was gay, but married. We (my partner and I) went to the funeral (also a requiem mass - he was religious) where no mention of his "other life" was made - but I just took the line that we were all there to remember the person and does it matter that one member of the congregations perception of that person differs from anothers. I would argue not - I was there to give thanks for my friends life and the joy he brought into our lives - he was a very humorous person - where I gave those thanks and remembered him was quite frankly immaterial - as is the fact that a "truer" picture of the person was not given at the service.
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Jim
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Would it matter? Reply with quote

I'm Christian, but I have experience of something similar.
My uncle, an ardent communist and trade unionist ( not uncommon, as he was a miner) was also an avowed atheist. I thought he was a brilliant, witty, friendly man and I wouldn't have a word said against him. When cancer struck, and it was time for him to "make arrangements", he made it very clear that he did not want a Christian funeral, or any religious trappings for that matter.
However, when he did die, his older brother took over.
The minister was booked, as well as the crematorium. I was a young teenager at the time, and I thought that was the way it was 'done', although it didn't make much sense to me. The older brother, however, claimed that the minister was very basic in the way he conducted the service.

How could he, or anyone else, have been anything BUT basic in that situation? I wish relatives would respect their loved ones wishes - whatever they might have been.
After all, our mumblings over a body in a box will change nothing. The funeral is there for those who are left, and, at that time, the one thing they don't need is hypocrisy.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Jim, I fully agree with you.
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if your uncle had made this clear it seems highhanded to ignore his wishes to say the least.  My friend has planned her humanist funeral, fair enough, although I would say a silent prayer.  Would that be wrong?

My granddad was a miner, and left wing but not a communist I think.  Strangely though, although he was by no means a churchman - didn't go from one year to the next - he sent my dad to Methodist Sunday school with the other kids and probably never doubted the existence of God in his life.  I think it was right that he had a Christian funeral.

But part of me does think that - in the case of the young man - the funeral would have been for his family and what would help them the best.  Incidentally I don't know what his wishes are.  I imagine that he hadn't thought about it - he wasn't expecting to die.
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Grandma was an avowed atheist - always declaring that she was far too wicked to darken the door of a church.

She came from a strict non conformist background. And. She didn't conform. She lived.

But her funeral was religious, although minimally so. The service was conducted by a Catholic priest who is an old family friend, and son of her one time best mate. (None of us are Catholic). It seemed fitting in a way. Although we ignored her wishes to take her down in a wheelbarrow.....
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lexilogio wrote:
My Grandma was an avowed atheist - always declaring that she was far too wicked to darken the door of a church.

She came from a strict non conformist background. And. She didn't conform. She lived.

But her funeral was religious, although minimally so. The service was conducted by a Catholic priest who is an old family friend, and son of her one time best mate. (None of us are Catholic). It seemed fitting in a way. Although we ignored her wishes to take her down in a wheelbarrow.....

She sounds as if she was a nice old lady with a great sense of humour!  I never knew any of my grandparents, they all died before I was born.

Whether we should obey the last wishes of the deceased is a matter of conscience. Promises are made to be kept I suppose, but if the person concerned is dead, they aren't going to know if you break it, are they?
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
Whether we should obey the last wishes of the deceased is a matter of conscience. Promises are made to be kept I suppose, but if the person concerned is dead, they aren't going to know if you break it, are they?

Technically true, but if we can be so cavalier about ignoring the last wishes of somebody relating to their funeral arrangements, by the same logic we could presumably forget about making a will, if it can be so easily ignored/overridden.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Whether we should obey the last wishes of the deceased is a matter of conscience. Promises are made to be kept I suppose, but if the person concerned is dead, they aren't going to know if you break it, are they?

Technically true, but if we can be so cavalier about ignoring the last wishes of somebody relating to their funeral arrangements, by the same logic we could presumably forget about making a will, if it can be so easily ignored/overridden.

I suppose if it's a written instruction in a will, it must be observed by law. Steve. I was assuming it to be just a verbal promise during life.
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Boss Cat
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I promise I am not trying to get religion in by the back door here; we all have our reasons for where we are and why and most of you won't understand this.  But one of the things that does give me a nudge towards my rather wet 'something else theism' is  that Things Matter - even when there's no consequentialist reason why they do.

In Britain if you die unknown with nothing in  you get a CofE funeral with a Council officer as mourner.  Doesn't make any difference to the deceased of course, and perhaps it's a howling disgrace (though inevitable) that people do die in such circumstances, but it says something positive about your culture that it matters somehow.  I think so anyway.  I am told by health professionals that you are trained to talk to the recently deceased as you deal with their bodies.

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